I have been a volunteer at Al Hassakah branch of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) since 2008. For the last three years I have been the coordinator for the First Aid Committee.
The 7 principles of the Red Cross Red Crescent are my biggest motivation and inspiration for my work in the first aid committee , especially the medical ones in times of armed conflicts and for all sides of the conflict.
SARC has emphasized for us the importance of the principles of humanity, neutrality and also non-materialistic thinking.
To give first aid service to someone is not only to move them to a hospital and treat their wounds . It is to relieve and reassure them and to give them psychological relief.
I remember what happened to me once in our last response in one of Al Hassakah’s neighborhoods , where I saw a woman at her thirties carrying a baby girl walking toward us. She looked so scared and frightened, before reaching us she dropped her child and failed to catch her, then she dropped exhausted as well.
We reached her immediately and moved her and the child to our ambulance and gave her the first aid needed, on our way to the hospital I was monitoring her responses to make sure that she didn’t lose consciousness. While I was writing down her case information , she was conscious and responding to me , I found out that she was 7 months pregnant. When we reached the hospital and told her story to the resident doctor , I wasn’t aware of her holding my hand until we got into the hospital . She looked at me and was in shock, laying on the check-up bed , then she whispered to me ” Don’t leave me alone .” I was very surprised by her trust in me.
First Aid service doesn’t stop at giving first medical services, it is saving lives , protecting and respecting the injured, and contributing in the health education for people, through our precautionary programs.
We as SARC’s volunteers have the duty of spreading health education and first aid services through training and rehabilitating volunteers of the local community and making First aid and health activities at their communities. As a result they well be less harmed when circumstances doesn’t allow our first aid teams to reach them in their afflicted areas.